If you or a loved one is facing a trip to a nursing home, you may be wondering how you’ll pay for the stay. Nursing facilities can be expensive and Medicaid can help, but if you’re not careful, you may run through all your savings in order to qualify. This is because qualifying for nursing home Medicaid can be a tricky process. Not only does the value of your assets have to be below a certain amount, but the process is subject to a five-year look back period. This means that if, during any time during the last five years, you gifted any of your assets to loved ones, you will be penalized for the gift and your application for Medicaid will be affected. Luckily, if you are being cared for by one of your children, or if you are a child caretaker for a parent, there is a special provision known as a Medicaid transfer exception that can help.
What is a Medicaid Transfer Exception?
When it comes to qualifying for nursing home Medicaid, a house is one major asset that can prevent your application from being successful because of its high value. Normally if you attempt to transfer your house to a loved one in order to spend down your assets, this would violate Medicaid’s look back rules, unless it was done over five years earlier. For a child caretaker, though, the law provides an exception. If the child lived in the parent’s home for at least two years before the parent entered the nursing home, and if the child provided care that delayed the parent’s institutionalization, then the parent can transfer the house to the child and not be subject to the look back rules that usually apply during a Medicaid transfer.
How to Qualify for a Medicaid Transfer Exception?
This exception ensures that nursing home patients will not have to suffer a severe financial penalty in order to qualify for Medicaid. It also rewards child caregivers who have devoted so much to take care of their parents. Nonetheless, in order to qualify for a Medicaid transfer exception, you’ll need to adequately document your arrangement.
When it comes to submitting documentation for child caretaker exception, you will need to prove two things:
- You will need to submit forms showing that the child caretaker lived in the parent’s house for at least two years prior to the parent’s transfer to the nursing home. Among the documents you might submit include voter registration and car registration papers, utility bills, and sworn affidavits.
- You will also need to prove that the child provided elder care to their parent. This requires extensive documentation and a bit of advanced preparation. When the child becomes the caretaker, they should begin keeping a written record of the care provided, including listing any significant medical events that would require institutionalization if the child was not providing live-in elder care. Medical records, doctor’s notes, and sworn affidavits are also important sources of documentation.
Contact the Elder Law Attorneys at Deliberato Law Center
If you have any questions about the Medicaid transfer exception or about any aspects of providing elder care for a loved one, do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys at Deliberato Law Center. Give us a call at 216-341-3413 or fill out the form below to get started today.